Wednesday 8 July 2020 1:02 pm

Stamp duty holiday: Chancellor confirms immediate property tax changes

The chancellor has confirmed an immediate stamp duty holiday in a bid to reinvigorate the housing market after the coronavirus lockdown.

Speaking in the House of Commons this afternoon, Rishi Sunak said the threshold for paying stamp duty will be raised from £125,000 to £500,000.

The chancellor said the stamp duty holiday, which will run to 31 March next year, will result in an average saving of £4,500 and will benefit nine in 10 house buyers.

“Property transactions fell by 50 per cent in May, house prices have fallen for the first time in eight years and uncertainty abounds in the market,” Sunak said.

“A market we need to be thriving, we need people to be feeling confident, confident to buy, sell renovate, move and improve. That will drive growth, that will create jobs.”

John Tonkiss, chief executive of housebuilder McCarthy and Stone, said the announcement is a “no brainer to reinvigorate the economy”.

“We’ve long argued that high moving costs have stunted the housing market,” he said.

Tim Hyatt, Head of Residential at estate agent Knight Frank, added: “Moving house has a clear multiplier effect for the wider economy, different sized businesses in all areas feel the knock-on benefit.

“Today’s announcement to temporarily cut stamp duty will act as a shot in the arm for UK housing and further bolster a market which has come out of a state of suspension.

“However, in order for a fully functioning market to return, the availability of higher loan to value mortgages must also be improved to support first time buyers across the country.”